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Electric Guitar Progression Essay

1974 words - 8 pages

Innovations are put forth everyday but few leave a lasting effect on their field. Whether it is the combustion engine in transportation, television in entertainment or the electric guitar in music. It’s difficult to turn on the radio or any music player and avoid the ubiquity of the guitar. It has had a continuous reign on the music industry for the past century and is becoming even more popular with the addition of endless overdrive effects. The origin of the guitar can be tracked back hundreds of years and countless miles. Along the way many new additions were implemented. The hole in the center is known as the sound hole, the bowed edges on the side of the body where the guitar rests are ...view middle of the document...

The style of the vihuela was kept for many more years and was one of the most prominent stringed instruments. Until a man named Christian Frederick Martin came around and decided to put his own spin on the world of guitars.
Martin is widely considered to be the Rolls Royce of guitars and with good reason. C.F. Martin began his legacy in a small town in Pennsylvania known as Nazereth. Each one of his guitars was handcrafted and very sought after even in the early 1900’s when he first started. Ironically, the company that he was creating the guitars, Oliver Ditson, for went bankrupt in the late 20’s. This was a blessing to Martin since now he could start his own line and use his own innovations. His most famous contributions are the wide “D” neck style and the “Dreadnaught” style of body. Both of which are still in use today due to their effectiveness. In 1931 he began production on his famed D-1, made of a mahogany body, spruce top, and ebony fretboards. Only four of which were made in his first year. He experimented with multiple different species of wood to play with the balance of durability and tone. The style of body that he used is known then and today as the dreadnaught. With a single round sound hole, two scoops on either side and no cutaways, it is most likely the image that comes to one’s mind when the term acoustic is used when talking about guitars. Many if not all modern guitars are derived from the model set forth by Martin (Dreadnaught).
As the 1900’s rolled around the popularity of the guitar grew it was beginning to be included in bands, and even in some symphonies. They were versatile, could be picked up at your local music shop for a reasonable price and, if you would devote the time, it was an easy to play and beautiful instrument. But there was a problem with acoustic guitars; they were just that, acoustic, they were simply too quiet. The low audio output of an acoustic guitar couldn’t keep up with the rest of the bands and their tones were overwhelmed and drowned out. Luckily a man named George D. Beauchamp had an idea that revolutionized music forever, electric amplification. George Beauchamp started the idea of mounting a magnetic coil on a steel stringed guitar to pick up an electric signal that could be amplified and used to drive a loudspeaker, producing a much louder sound. A coil is a wrapping of copper wire around a ground piece hundreds of times and when placed on a guitar it can “pick up” extremely faint or large magnetic signals. Spending five years partnered with the Rickenbacker Electro String Company working on a guitar that was cheap, reliable, and had little feedback from the early coil technology. Beauchamp’s first successful work was known as the Rickenbacker Electro A-22(“First”). Due to its mainly aluminum construction and a much smaller body than any guitar of its day, most musicians affectionately referred to it as the “frying pan.” However, if you look at an electric guitar today the pickup coils...

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